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Running London Marathon for Guildford YMCA

Published on: 1 Mar, 2012
Updated on: 3 Mar, 2012

James Slater is running the London Marathon in aid of Guildford YMCA's Capital Appeal.

Guildford YMCA has innovative plans to remodel and extend the basement level of its Bridge Street building to provide new and better facilities for its work with young people.

Needing to raise around £500,000 is a major task, but James Slater, whose father is a YMCA board member, has set himself the target of running the London Marathon on April 22, hoping to raise £2,000 along the way. Half of this will be for Guildford YMCA’s Capital Appeal.

James ran the Paris Marathon in 2009 in a time of 3 hours 31 minutes and his training is currently pointing towards a very respectable time. He has been aware of the YMCA’s work for some time through his father’s involvement.

He said: “I have seen at first hand the impact the YMCA is having in Guildford where young people without much hope have been cared for and trained up with the skills they need to live and work in society. I am pleased to be able to support this organisation and its fundraising programme.”

Up to 40 16- to 25-year-olds live at the Bridge Street hostel who would otherwise be homeless, but currently there is limited space for staff to work with them. Often staff meet with residents in the public restaurant, which offers no privacy when sensitive issues are being discussed. A dedicated space available to residents during the day would open up further possibilities for online training and group sessions.

A good deal of preventative youth work is carried out at Plantation, the YMCA’s youth venue off Market Street. Redeveloping the basement level will also include a flexible space to be used as a youth cafe and for other project work.

Guildford YMCA’s CEO Pete Brayne said: “For some time we have been conscious that our building needs updating. It isn’t the best fit for the evolving needs of our residents. We need space where residents can relate to and relax with their peers and key workers, and private interview rooms. And we want to create a space where we can support those looking for employment and training with accessible computer facilities. We wish James every success in the Marathon – please support him!”

Visit to follow James’ progress.




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